Reviews for A Mother's Journey
El Conservatore chapter 16 . 8/7/2014
Wow. That was... wow.

I mean, this is the amalgamation of my thoughts and feelings towards the entire fic so far, but holy *crap* this was depressing. Not in the "wow much random angst" way, but in the "this is the sad reality of life" way that few stories can address well. Regardless of whether it is fanwork or published work, the easiest thing for authors to do is the idealization and fluffification of the implications of things like wishes and magic.

To be sure, there is much to be said for the hope and joy that magic could bring, and the power of a wish should not be diminished on either a philosophical or practical level (I use practical in the context of writing, of course). I don't wish to write a review that is basically an amateur's take on philosophy, but the end result is that I find it immensely interesting to read a work that deals with the practical implications of wishes and why people would make them. The aplomb with which you juggle the second world war and girls on both sides of the conflict is rather inspiring, to say the least. Perhaps my experience is simply limited, but I've yet to read a work that can really treat either side with a good degree of objectivity.

I will note that my heritage is Chinese, and I am immensely tired of the romanticization of the second world war from my family members, who served in that conflict. The reversal of the portrayals I am used to (Chinese people are all innocent and/or martyrs, Japanese people are all demons) was immensely refreshing. Yumiko, in particular, is the single most sympathetic character I've encountered in fiction outside of Sayaka. To be sure, the characters I sympathize with are usually not the ones others sympathize with, but honestly, that was one of the most heart breaking things I've read in a long while.

Moving onwards, your portrayal of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is, shall I say, potentially controversial. 2017 is not that far from 2014, after all, and the news as of the time of this writing does not really lend well to this section being received with universal approval. In addition, my knowledge of the conflict is depressingly low, and I have strived to stay out of it until such time as I am able to gather more data. Regardless, your portrayal of the two sides was shockingly human, and while I'm not sure that I buy that a Jew and a Palestinian in that area for this conflict are capable of such rapid resolution, the philosophical point being made far outweighs such a consideration. Rebekah's death was a beautiful thing, if overshadowed by the fact that Fatima's family is now probably fated to be captured and "questioned". Cynically, I forsee despair on Fatima's horizon, and her joining Rebekah in magical girl heaven very soon.

I ultimately am less interested in Fiona's story, however. While each section provides background and such to her life, I find the conflicts that bring the girls into existence more interesting than the overall, sweeping arc of Fiona's story. As of this time, I find it difficult to see how she works in the story apart from a framing device. To be clear, first, framing devices are important and should not be taken as diminishing of Fiona's importance. Indeed, using framing devices renders it impossible to treat the character as separate from the whole and Fiona's actions have inevitable strong implications to the overall meaning of your story. However, my initial expectation was that this story would center around a mother's love for her children, and I feel that more depiction of Fiona and Yuma is necessary to bring that expectation to fruition.

Anyway, huge review, sorry. TL;DR: I liked it and please write more!

SatoshiKyu chapter 4 . 6/5/2014
All this talk of bulldozing makes me confused as hell. How can you bulldoze yourself? This singular instance is different, being that the universe has been rewritten and a major player has been removed entirely, but to say that Homura 'bulldozed' her 'alternate selves' every time she reset that endless month is simply ludicrous. It stands to reason that with each reset Homura is technically spawning off a new set of alternate and parallel universes to fit with each of the multitude of changes she affects throughout each iteration, but at the point OF the reset the Homura being 'bulldozed' is the exact same person the time-travelling Homura would have been at that same point in her own original timeline. Meaning that even if the time-travelling Homura hadn't gone back to join with her past self, that self would go on to become a time-travelling Homura completely identical to the first, because literally nothing would have changed from the original timeline. New-universe's Homura keeps referring to the time-travelling Homura as if she's some kind of body-snatcher, when in reality it's more like each successive reset adds another equal and identical facet to the surface of an ever-changing jewel.
Incendo chapter 16 . 6/2/2014
Thank you for updating again :) I'm happy you didn't give up in this project. And you're welcome :3 I'm happy to hear my little review helped. Anyways, well-written (as usual) and the grammar is perfect (as usual :3). Gradually the plot is thickening, and I'm quite eager for what happens next. And don't worry about updating right away. We all do have lives outside of FF, right? Update when you can :)
Drinkie chapter 16 . 5/23/2014
Forgive me for forgetting about this fic but i finally got round to watching Rebellion the other day and oh my good god i was not ready as i'm still greaving other my brother's death so there was so much crying in my heart also welcome back to :)
CelticX chapter 16 . 5/22/2014
Ah, thank you so much for the chapter, and you deserve all the credit. I can't wait to see what Fiona and Yuma get up to next, and the names of some of my other favorite characters showed up! Yay!
Until next time (_)
DschingisKhan chapter 16 . 5/22/2014
First off, thank you for avoiding Rebellion spoilers; I've pretty much ignored the Madoka section since that was released.

So from my perspective, I'm reviewing a double feature (didn't catch fifteen when you published it) and you're really starting to hit stride when it comes to ratcheting up the tension.

The conversation over the pianos is the highlight. You've revealed a lot of the cogs both past and present, but held back enough that the real nature of the clockwork is unclear or somewhat confusing. I was half tempted to start making a diagram of interrelationships, but I don't have a space pen so as to capture the time dimension that seems awfully important to this on holocubic paper! ;). We're still not sure where this is going, and it ends on a great point. If you skip ahead a few weeks or months and revisit it later, that would be the icing, let there be no doubt!

I'm a bit curious why you focused on Yuma in this. Because she's an anchor to something we know so we can better observe the tangle of motives? Because she develops substantially here? Or possibly because she's just as in-the-dark as us? Granted, all three could be true, but I begin to suspect her point-of-view is motivated as a misdirection. Good technique, if that's how you're playing it.

On the other hand, I think the pacing is hurt a little by the way you divide the chapters in half. For example, Ch.15 present ends with something like a build up to an important meeting. But because it wasn't really at the height of its movement, going to the past when you did lacked impact. Since the past scenario is a new branch, I would instead suggest transition at a scene's closure point makes sense: just as the helicopter lands. This means that when you come back the present, the whole weight of the meeting that's happening is given more concrete focus by being an unbroken sequence.

That latter part is important, to: Chapter boundaries do exist. My personal intuition has it that Ch.15 present ends as the helicopter lands, and past goes to the point where Shimako leaves the window. Then I'm leaning toward starting Ch.16 with the past, and then continuing with the post-landing.

This is one of those weird cases where the current situation is informed by and makes sense in the context of publishing one chapter at a time, but less so when seen as sequence in proximity.

(Whew, giving (hopefully) useful feedback to someone at your level is good exercise! As always, I look forward to the next twist!)
Incendo chapter 15 . 5/3/2014
I was able to watch Rebellion a few days ago, and let me say, I would like to pretend your story is more canon than the film itself. Good film, but my feels D: That asides, your story is very unique, well-written and original. It's amazing how much you capture everyone's character so well and how much thought was put into this. I hope you'll be able to complete this story; it's one of the best in the PMMM fandom :)
khffbleach9 chapter 15 . 12/24/2013
I saw Rebellion as well and hot a Charlotte phone holder. The movie was awesome right!
Jimmy CWL chapter 15 . 12/24/2013
How does Fiona "arrive" in a timeloop? Consider Homura's situation. On arrival, she's either been a prisoner insider her own body or insensate for most of the next few weeks. Quite unpleasant after what she's been through, don't you think? Either that, or there's only one Homura and she's developed an extra personality to cope with the extra memories.

Compare that to Fiona. From the opening blurbs of the first chapters, we know she remembers Fiona's history in Reality Alpha (to use your own terminology) while she's now in Reality Beta. From the most recent chapters, we also know she remembers the history of the Fiona of Reality Beta as well. Yet, she doesn't have an extra voice in her head. Why the difference?

One thing I would like to see someday is Fiona's reaction on arriving in Reality Beta.

Another item I would like to raise is that you have the Angel of Death (Madoka) seen by quite a few people as she goes about her task, as well as TALKING to someone who isn't dead yet (by proxy, but still). If events like those happen as often as you suggest, there ought to be legends about her among the magical girl community.
Evan Monahan chapter 13 . 12/3/2013
This really handled the Israeli-Palestinian conflict quite well. It combines two of my favourite subjects. I find it interesting that you would place a Madoka Magica fanfic in Palestine. When I clicked on the link, I was hoping it would be pro-peace, and not fanatically pro-Palestinian or pro-Israeli. I was pleasantly surprised.
Thank you! You have really shown that Madoka Magica fans are actually quite thoughtful, intelligent, and sensitive. I'll read more if I get the chance.
Jimmy CWL chapter 14 . 12/1/2013
When you started this fic, I thought I would like Fiona when we got to see her. But now that she's been in action for a few chapters, I have to say I DON'T like her. The way you write her thoughts, she reads more like a villan. If that was your intention, all well and good. If not, you might consider toning down her arrogance. It may be justified arrogance for having survived so long in the face of magic, but it is annoying.
Drinkie chapter 14 . 12/1/2013
I wonder what your reaction to Rebellion will be since i've now learn't even more about what happens in it i've got mixed and very confused feelings i won't spoil anything for you however but i hope you enjoy the film
Guest chapter 12 . 11/12/2013
It looks to me that our Fiona might be wee bit obsessed with the mitihikara group.
CelticX chapter 13 . 11/9/2013
What else can I say, but that I love it :-)

I know how busy you are IRL and hope and pray that all is going well with you, but that doesn't mean that I don't also hope and pray that you will once again grace us with another chapter to this wonderful story, even if you do "give yourself to the dark side." ;-p

I'll be looking forward to it.
Sacchin chapter 4 . 10/27/2013
Wow! This is really interesting! I like your ideas about Homura moving into another Homura's dimension, along with your descriptions on the differences in the timelines. I will be reading on!
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